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Election: Prime minister breaks his silence, calls for lower taxes

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Prime minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte broke his silence in the election campaign in the Telegraaf on Wednesday by calling for a €1,000 tax break for workers.

The tax break on work (arbeidskorting) should be increased by €330 in 2013 and by €1,000 in 2014, the right-wing Liberal party leader said in the interview. The tax break is currently €1,533 for people earning over €51,000.

‘Let us be totally clear. People who work should see that reflected in their wallets,’ Rutte said. Increasing the tax break means people who choose to work ‘keep more of their money to spend themselves and that is good for the economy’.

High taxes

The Netherlands has one of the highest income tax rates in the world, with people paying 52% income tax on earnings over €56,492.

The party also plans to increase the tax break on pensions, but did not say by how much.

In addition, the VVD wants to reverse the €250m cuts in spending on childcare agreed in the spring budget deal reached with four other parties. ‘We have to take action to stop women giving up work,’ Rutte said.


Other party leaders were quick to criticise the plan to give every worker an extra €1,000 in disposable income.

'Rutte is following [SP leader Emile] Roemer in handing out cheques with no guarantee,' D66 leader Alexander Pechtold told Nos television. 'But people will see through this.'

CDA leader Sybrand Buma said it was notable that at a time of serious economic crisis the prime minister is 'promising everyone €1,000 a year'. 'The question is, who will pay the bill?' Buma said.


PVV leader Geert Wilders also broke his silence on Wednesday, calling in the AD for asylum seekers to be cared for outside the Netherlands, in countries like Romania.

This would reduce the nuisance caused by refugees and cut costs, the anti-immigration party leader said.

However neither Rutte, Wilders nor Roemer are taking part in tonight’s first election debate.

Is income tax too high? Have your say using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Of course it is too high. No doubt about it. Now if I could see something in return I would agree with it being that high. But compared to 1st world countries with lower taxes benefits in the Netherlands are not that different.

I believe the main cause is the over-sized government and associated overhead.

By dork | 22 August 2012 9:12 AM

Is there a bit of "crowd pleasing" going on there for Mr Rutte? As I clearly recall the reason why his government collapsed wasn't due to him calling for lower taxes......

By Marco | 22 August 2012 9:32 AM

Is income tax too high? Is the Pope Catholic? 52% on over €56K and come October 1st 21% BTW. I've been living and working here since 2004, and have worked all over the world. Working here is the most financially 'unrewarding' country I have ever worked in. Net income tax rates in North America are on average 50% lower than here, and everything costs less - I still don't understand where all my tax money goes in the NL....

By Joe Smith | 22 August 2012 9:46 AM

I love elections. The reason I moved to NL was because I heard they had a new one every 6 months. The only cheques he will be handing out if re-elected are EBT ones.

By Dr Ponzi | 22 August 2012 10:28 AM

How many moronic ideas will Wilders come up with in the next three weeks? The man is getting desperate because all polls indicate he will lose.

By pepe | 22 August 2012 11:08 AM

No, income tax is not too high because we need to maintain a social state of which we can be proud of. I prefer not getting this 1000eur tax break then increasing self-risk. Rutte has fallen in pure populism. Plus, Let us be totally clear. "People who work should see that reflected in their wallets"... this happens already. He might just as well suggest abolishing taxes on the house like Berlusconi did in Italy some years ago.

By the_expat | 22 August 2012 11:38 AM

Well said Mr. Rutte! It is high time someone in power recognises the importance of enterpreneurship, hard work and financial rewards in building a strong economy. One only needs to study the development of a country like Singapore to see the results.

By kalajutu | 22 August 2012 11:43 AM

If the voters know the difference between a smile and a smirk, then Rutte will not have a second term, enough damage has been done already don't you think?

I would not be tempted by an offer of €2,74 pd, knowing how easily it can be given with the right hand & taken back with the left.

Even some developing countries (Countries kept poor by the West) have a fairer income tax system...low incomes starting at 12.5% tax, and not 34%!!

By The visitor | 22 August 2012 11:58 AM

Yes, we are all very troubled here with all these asylum seekers, it's quite a 'nuisance'. You cannot walk the streets freely without them sticking their hands in your purse or molesting your kids... so we need to outsource asylum centres to Romania. Or maybe we keep them in their countries of origins, I suppose that would be the cheapest option.

Wildersnormal Activity.

By Ivan | 22 August 2012 1:18 PM

Gee Guys, why so little and so late. Why not really look into reforming the tax codes and income tax and have those over in business and persoanl € 100,000 perhaps pay a bit more and over €250,000 pay more, a graduated system. Look at the health care and do a graduated system in a payments.

By Michael S. Kadin | 22 August 2012 4:30 PM

Election: Prime minister breaks his silence, calls for lower taxes. Like the supermarkets, buy one pay five get 2 free.

By Terence Hale | 22 August 2012 5:01 PM

Of course income tax is too high, and it kicks in at too low an income level. But then the Dutch don't seem to mind paying for bogus disability claims which is why 15% of the working population are paid to stay at home, at great expense to those out at work. High taxes kill taxes, as no entrepreneur is going to come to NL when they can set up a business in a far more favourable tax jurisdiction, like Switzerland. We shouldn't be losing these people to elsewhere. The real people who suffer are the middle to low earners who have to foot the bill. Hardly social justice, is it?

By Janet Sidaway | 22 August 2012 6:02 PM

Must be an election coming... I trust Rutte as far as I could throw him

By @Cluthadubh | 22 August 2012 6:25 PM

Just close all tax loop holes and you are swimming in the dosh.

By Kees | 23 August 2012 4:24 AM

yes I think my taxes are way too high for what I get back from them. this did not used to be the case. not too many years ago our health care and a pension that we could all count on came from these same taxes. what I do not and cannot understand is why voters here would choose for this situation - because it was chosen for by them in the way they have voted. it did not just 'happen'. moreover, i do not expect the coming government coalition to last more than 1 or 2 years, then it will simply collapse again. only the NL voters can change this, no one else. let's see what they do.

By Bill | 23 August 2012 9:20 AM

@pepe: "How many moronic ideas will Wilders come up with in the next three weeks? The man is getting desperate because all polls indicate he will lose" - I cannot understand your comment. This article is about Rutte not Wilders (who has also come up with ridicuous ideas such as keeping asylum seekers in some other country like Romania pending a decision etc.), but that has not got to do with this article... But I do understand the difficulty in distinguishing Rutte from his former ally.

By the_expat | 23 August 2012 5:09 PM

@pepe : (ii) sorry, your comment referred to the latter part of the article, so my response to you does not apply (and clearly in Wilders I agree anyway)

By the_expat | 23 August 2012 5:11 PM

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